Vote will decide Alliance for True Democracy's fate

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 May, 2014, 4:50am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 May, 2014, 4:50am

The fate of an alliance of lawmakers set up to push for democracy hangs in the balance today.

The Alliance for True Democracy will meet to decide whether to put operations on hold after some of its 26 members campaigned against the alliance's reform plan for the 2017 chief executive election in a vote organised by Occupy Central.

Members of People Power and the League of Social Democrats urged their radical supporters to back People Power's own reform proposal when 2,500 Occupy activists joined a "deliberation day" on May 6 to shortlist three reform plans that will be put to a public vote next month.

The alliance's proposal did make the shortlist of three, along with more radical plans from People Power and student group Scholarism.

But the Democratic Party and Labour Party lawmakers say the behaviour of the two parties destroyed trust within the alliance. They want its regular activities, including weekly meetings, put on hold, but are expected to stop short of winding the group up.

Democrat Wu Chi-wai said yesterday that while his party did not want to "dissolve" the alliance, it would cease to join in activities after June 22, the final day of Occupy's three-day "referendum" on reform. He asked: "If different bodies have their own [agenda], how can we continue to cooperate?"

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said last week that her party "agrees that the alliance should finish its historical mission and stop operating after the referendum".

Labour's Cyd Ho Sau-lan said that the alliance could continue to exist as a "platform" for pan-democrats to work together on "simple" issues such as encouraging voters to take part in next month's referendum, even if its regular activities ceased.

"But I don't think we can still work together on things that are more complicated," she said.

But Civic Party leader Alan Leong Kah-kit said the alliance should continue as a way for pan-democrats to work together, even if they had different strategies.

People Power member Christopher Lau Gar-hung questioned whether the Democrats' move indicated that they were ready to compromise on reform and go against the alliance's call to give the public and parties the right to nominate candidates in 2017.

Moderates in the pan-democratic camp have criticised the league and People Power for pushing for only radical plans to be shortlisted in the Occupy vote. They believe the lack of a moderate option will hit turnout and the credibility of the vote.